American Stonehenge is adventurous, and suspenseful middle grade sci-fi with many interesting topics, beautiful illustrations, and moral lessons.
Disclaimer- Many thanks to author for review copy.
It’s his birthday, and Jimmy gets to pick out a dog at the humane society. Jimmy has wanted a dog for as long as he can remember. But he never imagined he’d find a pet that could talk to him telepathically!
It turns out that the dog is immortal, born in Egypt more than three thousand years ago. With the ability to read both canine and human thoughts, he has roamed the earth ever since, hoping to find others of his kind. Only after he meets Jimmy does he begin to discover clues to his elusive origins.
When Jimmy rescues Andrew from the pound, the first of their many adventures begins. American Stonehenge takes Jimmy and Andrew to the remote forests of northern Washington, where they accompany the boy’s archaeologist parents on the excavation of a newly discovered site. The find – a fully intact duplicate of Stonehenge in England – is shrouded in a mystery that Jimmy and Andrew must unravel.
How did this Stonehenge come to exist? Why do so many strange things happen around it? And what’s this telepathic dog been up to for the past three millennia? These mysteries and more are waiting to be revealed in Jimmy and Andrew’s first great adventure!
American Stonehenge is adventurous first book in middle-grade series, The Adventures of Jimmy and Andrew, that follows unique relationship of an immortal dog, Andrew, and a nine yrs old, Jimmy, and their adventure.
Writing is simple and easy for middle-grade readers, told in third person narrative mainly from Jimmy and Andrew’s perspective, there is often short POV switches to adults in between. Most of the story takes place in 2007 but there are past timelines that started from the birth of Andrew in Egypt around 3000 yrs ago and snippets of his life till how he ended up in animal shelter where Jimmy found him.
I loved the way story started. Character introduction, concept, and build-up was interesting. I was curious to find out how Andrew is immortal, the mystery of missing friends of Pete, a Vietnam vet they meet living around the area of American Stonehenge, who are the forest people, and what will happen to Jimmy and his family once they start working on Stonehenge site. The story is more sci-fi than fantasy. There are many supernatural elements that make the plot a little far-fetched but it’s still enoyable.
There are many details about Stonehenge- when it was built and theories and superstitions around it, Native American lifestyle and culture, Vietnam vets, PTSD, nature vs technology, and many historical events that started from King Tut in Egypt to witch trials and iron age. There are many positive messages and moral values for kids. I loved the focus on the importance of preserving nature and having the right conscience and spiritual growth along with technological growth.
Illustrations are colorful and beautiful. I enjoyed the mystery and twists and turns but at the same time some revealations felt unbelievable. End is good with most of the mysteries wrapped up nicely while some mysteries remained to solve in next books of the series.
Why 3.5 stars-
Story is slow at some places. There is a little repetitiveness for clarification purpose. Dialogues are okay. As I said revelations are unbelievable and readers have to suspend their beliefs.
My main concern was with the characters. I couldn’t connect with any of them. Jimmy looked more mature than 9 yrs old. His parents are too trusting. Even though their trust was explained often I still found it hard to believe they let their son roam in the forest with a person they just met and hardly know.
Not all historical aspects are accurate. There is this picture depicting iron age in which men were wearing plain pants and women were wearing bras. I saw a comment about Plaid pants in reviews, I don’t know when it was invented but I agree about bra as I sure know there wasn’t a bra in this age.
I think readers of target audience will love this book but adults might find this okay.
Overall, American Stonehenge is enjoyable, adventurous, and suspenseful middle-grade sci-fi with many interesting topics, beautiful illustrations, and moral lessons.
I recommend this if you like,
Middle grade books
Informative Middle grade story
Fan of dogs
Slow to steady pace
Theme of nature preservance
Supernatural and sci-fi elements
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